Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What I'm Reading

Let it be said I'm a reader, always have been.  As a kid I read cereal books, the dictionary, the encyclopedia, any thing I could get my hands on.  The first thing I did when we moved to a new place was get a library card.  Since I've retired I read even more, I read any where from 3-5 books a week.  And I'm pretty eclectic in what I read everything from fantasy, science fiction, history, spy stories, convuluted suspense novels, whodoneits, mysteries, a few biographies, to  a  little non-fiction.  So obviously I'm not real choosy, but even I have standards.
For the past 10 years or so Amazon has been my "library" of choice.  They make it easy to buy, they keep track of what I read and offer new suggestions, I can get free shipping with them and when buying used books I can pay as little as a penny a book plus postage.  But in a fit of economy a few months ago I decided to start using our local library again, and unfortunately this hasn't worked out.  Our library is small and though they try to keep up to date with books the selection is not good.  If you like "cutesy" mysteries solved by chefs, knitters, quilters, book sellers or antique dealers, they've probably got a book for you.  If you want a romance (and notice that's about the only genre I didn't mention reading) about a Highlander, pirate,  frontiersman, aristocrat, time traveler, vampire, again, they've probably have a book for you. If you want science fiction or fantasy from 20 years ago they might have it.  If you want the "trashier" books off the New York Times best seller list you can get in line for one of those.  But if you enjoy older authors, books from the 30's, 40's or 50's they don't have any. If you want books to make you think, to take you outside of yourself, then you're in for a disappointment.   Each week I've brought a stack of books home, tried to read them, at times made myself finish them and hauled them back to the library in hopes that the next  visit would be more successful.
I get the feeling I'm not the only person feeling a bit let down by the choices available for as I turned my books in last time a lady eagerly asked if any of my books was any good and I sadly had to tell her no, not a one of them.
So Amazon I'm coming home.

3 comments:

  1. Interesting. Our local library in east London (UK) is quite good actually and if they don't have what you want, they can order it in from another library, so I'm not complaining. When I buy books I tend to buy them from charity shops or jumble sales. Sometimes, the libray has a book sale and you can get some v. interesting books at incredible bargains.

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  2. Amazon are really very good. But Luckily even living here in the remote highlands of Scotland we have a mobile library that comes round every 3 weeks or so, and providing you know what you want you can order almost any book. Obviously being only a mobile library it's a bit limited in space - but it's a pretty good service nonetheless.

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  3. I hadn't realised you'd done a post on books. I must look out for the author you mentioned. I'm a bit like you I enjoy all manner of books. I miss the library at home because although small it was quite good, a good selection and they could call on books from all over the county. I've yet to try Amazon.

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